Hi there again - or should that be at last!
Well it wasn't to be! Indeed realistically it was never likely that it was going to be, but for a while we lived in hope and expectation. After all, the cricketing boys have enjoyed a modicum of success of late, so maybe, just maybe, those footie chaps might manage some of the same. The press inevitably built them up to be world beaters, and what with all the hype it was difficult not to start believing that this was, at last, going to be 'our year' - laying to rest the glorious days of 1966! (Apologies to all you Scots and Welsh chaps, but I'm sure your turn will come too - and we'll enjoy it for you, when it does!) In the event we got as far as we realistically should have expected - even further than some would have had us do - and then we were sent 'for the early plane' just in time to prevent the whole country going into total delirium - it was bad enough trying for a place in the semis - it doesn't bare thinking about what the emotions would have been, had we actually made it to the final! Frenzy wouldn't have come close! So now it is the turn of Tim Henman, and that other chap with the well know Anglo-Saxon name, to carry the cause, and nation's deluded hopes, into yet another sporting arena! Well it has to be better than warring!!
There doesn't seem to have been a lot happening CAP-wise, or rather ex-CAP-wise, apart from of course, the re-union on May 3rd, to commemorate CAP's fortieth birthday. I'm under strict instructions from the webmaster not to go on too much about it here, as there is a full report on the news page. I will just say that, while we may not have had quite as big a turn-out as we have had on other such reunion 'dos', I had a great night, and from all of the many emails I received immediately post-event, it seems that the majority of you who could manage to get there, enjoyed yourselves too.
I'm sure that for many of you the high spot of the night was seeing Keith Clark. Despite having had major heart surgery only a few months ago - after being uncomfortably close to becoming yet another statistic on the chart of 'Heart disease - how it can endanger your health'! - he was in great form, and didn't look as if he had changed one iota! Actually he could still do with a few more inches - couldn't we all! - but if that's what having a new ticker does for you, then I for one, wouldn't mind one myself! It certainly kept Keith going long after the rest of us were well ready to hit the sack - I know I had to plead enough at three o'clock on Saturday morning, otherwise he would have had us still going till breakfast time!
One other person it was also particularly good, and very heartening, to see was, of course, Alex, who indeed was also recovering his health, in this case after suffering a minor stroke, just after Christmas. Although possibly not quite as agile as he once may have been, he certainly seems to have got the hang of skipping around with the aid of his stick! I know that it was very tiring for him, but his being there, and able to talk to so many of 'his chaps', was very much appreciated by everyone. I speak not only for myself, but also for the great many who emailed me afterwards, to express their thanks to both he and Marion, for making such a big effort to be there to share the occasion with us.
Actually what with CAP's fortieth anniversary, I trust that you also enjoyed the Queen's Jubilee celebrations - now there's a lady with staying power! To think that she had already been on the throne for ten years when CAP started, and she is still leading the way. I thought the celebrations were wonderful and as far as I am concerned a fitting tribute to a great lady! I thought the Concorde fly by (remember the CAP Test Rig Project over 30 years ago?), down the Mall, flanked by the Red Arrows, was just magnificent!
As regular visitors may have noticed we haven't been updating the web site quite so frequently of late - as much I have to say, because we have been running out of material, rather than energy! The flesh is willing, even though the spirit is weaker - and thinking up new stuff all the time becomes ever more difficult as the years take their toll of the grey matter! One small innovation as a result of a couple of suggestions at CAP40 - the "Where are they now" page is for "colleague searches". We already have two - take a look.
Also before closing may I please make just one small plea for any 'olde CAPee' stories that you may be able to recall - or even make up if you wish! There has to be a host out there somewhere, and if we don't share them soon, then they'll be lost forever! There is no need to worry about lawsuits etc., at CAPnews we adopt the old tabloid adage that all of our stories (fabricated or otherwise) are from an 'informed UNNAMED source' and besides we can always 'change the names to protect the innocent' - and guilty!!
Now, have you heard about ……………………………………………….!!! No (in those slightly changed, immortal, words) I'll tell you mine - if you tell me yours first!
Hope you are all well and enjoying life to the full - you only have the one!
News 10 June 2002
CAP40 - simply a great night
This was held on Friday. May 3rd. 2002. at the New Connaught Rooms, Holborn (the "Old" done up!) to commemorate the founding of CAP 40 years ago to the very day.
It was a good evening with nearly 200 ex-CAP chaps and chapesses attending.
It was a great pleasure to see Alex and Marion d'Agapeyeff (Alex in fine fettle), Barney Gibbens, accompanied by Tina, the diminutive Keith Clark all the way from the USA and showing no signs of his recent operation, John Mcleod in fine voice, Don Hunter, the original CAP "techie" and Ted Sedman still sporting that wonderful handlebar moustache amongst many other old favourites too many to mention
The food was excellent (and because Westie isn't writing this) it can now be declared to those not in the know that the caterers supplied by Westie were in fact Westie himself. Yes he cooked the lot!! What a star and what a cook!! It was so good in fact that some people had too much (which was perhaps why it became a little sparse as the evening wore on).
Below are some photos of the event.
click an image to see a larger version, use the arrow keys or click the left or right side of the image to step through (click outside the image, or press Esc to close).
Jean Ball, Orlaine Griffiths, Joan Dann, Lynda Armsby-Wilson, Jim White, Barney Gibbens, Andy Patterson
Mike James, Tim Stevenson, Barney Gibbens, Orlaine Griffiths, Lorraine Watson, Marion Jones, Reeta Massey
Letters 10th June 2002
From Colin Stares
I started in IT with CAP (Reading) back in 1974 and worked there in the offices in the centre of Reading and Richfield Avenue through to early 1980. Colleagues I remember, but not I think mentioned on the site include Linda Grant (personnel), Brian Easteal & Tony Loman. Nowadays I am working for NASDAQ quoted CRM software provider Chordiant, having spent many years in IT Management Consultancy with both PwC and KPMG in Financial Services.
I still remember my time at CAP as being something special. The work hard and play hard culture was something special. Events sticking in my mind include the burglar breaking into the original Reading office and getting stuck overnight between the two security doors, the fun we had working on Coral cross-compilers for the MOD at both Harwell and Plessey Taplow, and the evenings in the local bars with Barney/Alex et al.
All the best
From Phil Moody
Good God, Mike, I thought the old chaps and chappeses of CAP were all dead and buried - good to hear from you (via the execrable, but omnipresent, FriendsReunited)!
I've worked in the energy sector since the late 80's, and now run a consultancy in Amersham specialising in energy markets and renewable energy certification. The old interest in systems is stil there - we deliver energy services via homegrown websites.
I rarely bump into ex-CAP(wo)men these days, although I keep contact with Keith Farman and Ian Bays sporadically. Fascinated to see Bob Dodds is still around (hi Bob - the pictures on your web site need refreshing.....).
A shame I missed the CAP40 bash - I'll just have to hope CAP50 doesn't fall on pension day.
Look forward to hearing from you about any forthcoming events.
From Debbie Morton in the USA
The web site is a wonderful idea and I had no idea it existed! The information about the pension scheme was very handy - I'm one of the people with money in there and I've been trying to get it back for some time - so far without success.
By the way, I think one of the people in the back row of the golfing photo is Mike Coulson.
I realise you won't remember me but I worked for Mike for about 5 years before I moved to the USA.
I was in England for a family emergency and the day your email arrived, had been reminiscing with another former "CAP-chap" so it was quite a coincidence.
(formerly Caversham Bridge and Orion Court!)
From Wendy Marshal (nee Brown) in New Zealand
Many thanks for passing on details of the CAP news website, which makes very interesting reading!
Looking at the CAP News website's comments on friendsreunited, I think the CAP Whyteleafe South workplace may be a reference to a project CAP were involved in at Commercial Union's offices in Whyteleafe South, Surrey, during the mid-1970s. I spent a couple of weeks there in early 1976, checking system test results, along with a number of other London Branch trainee programmers. We would assemble at East Croydon station and travel the half dozen or so stops on the Caterham branch line (I think) to Whyteleafe South. There was an advertisement hoarding alongside the railway line which read "Whyteleafe Exhausts", which was thought by some to be pretty close to the mark!
Wendy Marshall (nee Brown)
From Erwin Schneider
I was delighted to get your e-mail (via Friends United - Webmaster). It was good to think that someone from CAP still remembered me. It's getting on for 30 years since I departed under circumstances that hardly merited a leaving party!
I looked at the CAPNEWS website and was suitably gobsmacked at some of the pictures. I trust that your website will grow in scope.
I'm not too impressed by the Friends Reunited site. The lack of editorial control means that there's a lot of rubbish in the schools section that gets posted and it appears that no-one is authorised to remove it other than the culprit. Not a promising scenario. Thanks again for contacting me.
From: Clive Dixon
I've just discovered the Cap site & am delighted to know there's still some contact between old Cappers. I was part of it all between '73 & 77 in Lamb's Conduit Street working in a group called CASM. The names I recall from that time being Pete Moss, Frank Sizer, Dick Connor (incidentally he's third from the left in your gallery of Bin Laden look alikes), Chris Robinson, Howard Aitken, Ken Wills, Chris Mobbs, Charles Byas etc. oh, and of course, your goodself and one of your regular contributors, Keith Gathergood.
I'm buried down in Looe in Cornwall running a holiday company and, thank God, apart from being a user am absolutely nothing to do with IT these days.
Do hope the site's a success and will keep an eye on forthcoming events, it would be good to meet up with old colleagues.
With best wishes & good memories of happy days
Clive Dixon - Cornish Collection
From Bob Dodds
I trust you are well and that you remember me (ex CAP London Industrial as was - 1981 1988!). I recently bumped into James Windle at the HRD show at Olympia, who subsequently mentioned that there is a CAP reunion taking place on 3 May, which you are involved with organising?. Is it still possible for 'late comers' to join in? Could you let me have details please?
Looking forward to hearing from you
From Michael Lacey
I am sure you have enough on the go with CAP40, but I was just browsing around "excap" and noticed that my web page address is out of date, The correct one is:
Seeya soon at CAP40
(Fixed - Webmaster)
(link now removed as site no longer supported)
From Gordon Henson
I remember John Skeels, who referred to me at the Access JV4 project, as a fluent speaker of Chinese. Fortunately, he didn't speak it all the time or we would have got even less work done.
Incidentally, I'm so old now that when I access CAP News I always look in the Obituaries page to see if I've got a mention yet.
Deal, Kent, UK
People 10th June 2002
TRACE AN OLD COLLEAGUE
From Phil Moody
Any idea what happened to Mike Large? I bumped into his doppelganger on London Bridge a few years ago, and was somewhat taken aback when he answered in Africaans. Either not Mike, or he'd taken up residence in the colonies and back was in disguise.
From Hilary Jones
I would love to get in touch with June Baker (it was always her 38th birthday - I can't guess how old she is now, but long retired I would think!). Lots of names mentioned on this site I remember, in particular Don Hunter. I also have fond memories of Graham Samuel and his lovely family. I remember lots of others but am hazy about the names.
I was Hilary Brook then, now Jones, married with three sons (17, 15, 13) and living in Chiswick. I have a 32 place children's day nursery which keeps me pretty busy
From Sam Higgins
Curious if Rex Wearn is still about anywhere. I used to be his Secretary in Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue before he was moved to Reading.
From James Windle
I am trying to track down Eoin Hanley who once worked for CAP and subsequently worked with my brother.
Any chance that you have an address or an e-mail address for him?
From Tommy Phillips
My name is Tommy Phillips, and I have lost track of Tim Kingaby since he left Sybase, Inc. I found his name on your capnews.org site, and I am wondering if you have a current email address for him.
If so, I would appreciate it if you could forward this message to him or send me whatever contact information you have.
He can reach me on my work email (email@example.com) or at my personal email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Future Events 10th June 2002
This year's CAP Financial Xmas do.
Is it really a year ago since a select band of us were in the Shakepeare's Head vowing not to make the mistake of going there again? Seems it must be, as Tim's been reminding me that it's time to organise this year's CAP Financial reunion.
We've split the work, and Tim's going to send messages to anyone he can find at Schlumberger, as well as asking Mike to put the details up on this CAP website (mind you, as I've got his email address here it seems daft to send a separate message!), whilst I trawl my own address book and send out the standard "all comers" message.
From the perspective of about 10 years after the demise of CAP Financial, my memory is beginning to fail on who was actually in CAP Financial and who was merely around the office at the time, so my apologies if you weren't actually in Financial - but as long as you stand a round on the night you'll be welcome! And, please send this message on to anyone else of the required era that you may still be in contact with.
So, without more ado....
The venue will be the Green Man, opposite Great Portland Street station (it can't be any worse than the Shakespeare's Head!). The date will be (of course) Wednesday 4th December. The time anything from 6:00pm onwards.
We'll see you there. RSVP would be welcome so we can pass the word on about who to expect, and we'd be specially pleased to see the unusual suspects we haven't seen for a long time.
Report on the 2002 ExCAP Open Golf Championship.
World Cup fever may have be gripping the nation, but on Thursday the 13th. June, it was suspended for at least 25 exCAPers, while attentions were turned from Tokyo to Sudbury, north of London, for the annual ExCAP Open Golf championship.
Interest was high, and even the weatherman decided to look favourably on the occasion, as with the clouds drifting away, and the rains receding, the sun shone down, on what was to be, a highly enjoyable and competitive event. Thanks to the somewhat inclement weather of late, the course was in excellent condition, which helped to make for a great day.
As has become the norm recently for this event, to ease the traveling and still accommodate the social chat that is as much part of these gatherings as the actual golf itself, there was a more relaxed start to the day than in earlier halcyon days, and to start the proceedings a leisurely 'Texas Scramble' was played over the front nine.
Seven teams of four lined up and, even though the muscles of the more aged amongst the contestants would still have been loosening, produced a number of creditable low scores - particularly by the first group out, which won handsomely, despite some impressively low scores all round. The team (of Paul Archer, Peter Bayer, Keith Gathergood, and John Ward) won with a gross score of 33 - two under par - which after handicap adjustment gave an astonishing score 24!!!
After such a good morning, it may not have been too surprising had the quality of golf in the afternoon fallen, but if anything the morning was just a sweetener, with the general standard of the pm. play, getting even better.
Nobody came home with an outrageous score, but the overall standard was high and extremely close, with half the field being within five strokes, and no less than eight players at the top of the leader board being separated by just one point! and the ultimate winner only finally being decided on 'Count back'!
Inevitably there were too many good performances to mention them all, but a couple merit some reference. John Ritchie, the defending champion, mounted a spirited defence of his title, but after a poor front nine left himself too much to do - as did another past champion, Sue Jackman. Sue was another who started slowly - possibly having to sort out three young children before setting off for the day, isn't the best of preparations! - and so, despite coming home in the best score of the afternoon, finished a very creditable joint third (along with John and Steve Hart).
Once the dust had settled, and after a couple of recounts, it turned out that Rod Bungey, with 34 points, just pipped Stuart Skelsey (on count back on the back nine) for the coveted CAPii and the title of ExCAP Open Champion. It is always good to have a new winner, and hearty congratulations (and commiseration!) go out to both Rod and Stuart, for putting on such a close contest.
As usual we also had other competitions to compete for, such as the Par 3 championship, and nearest the pin and longest drive holes, which even when things may not be going quite so well with the main event, still gives everyone something to aim for.
As it turned out, we had yet another 'first time' winner - this time George Brown, who with 10 points, just edged out (by one point) a chasing pack of six, including Peter Bayer, Steve Hart, Sue Jackman (some consolation for just missing out on the big one!), Eric Phillips, Stuart Skelsey, and Mike West. Not bad scoring with only four par three holes - so congratulations again not only to George, but also to those who came so close!
George would also have been presented with a trophy (the famous Tony Price Plate) to which he could have added his name to the already impressively long list of familiar past winners, if we'd had it - unfortunately we haven't been able to locate it for the past two events! So, if anyone knows who does have it splendidly adorning their trophy cabinet, could you please ask them if we could have it back!!
As further consolation Stuart Skelsey also picked up the Longest Drive prize, so even though he just missed out on the main title, meant he had a fairly successful day. What the distance was could not be measured, but given he had to out-drive Dominic Smith's shot, it must have nearly gone into the next county! Dominic plays off 2, and hit a beauty!
Again congratulations to Stuart and finally also to Eric Phillips, who picked up the 'nearest the pin' - with what his fellow players reported to be a 'great shot' - given that it was not the easiest of greens to hit, meant he was also another very worthy winner.
The day ended as these things traditional do, with dinner - nothing too fancy, but a very tasty 'home made steak and kidney pie' - followed by the usual prize giving, and wrapped up with the raffle, for a bottle of Teachers whisky and a bottle of Archers Snapps, which thanks to the tremendous generosity of all present raised for the NSPCC, the great sum of £115. CAP Golf has supported that important work for many years and they will be very thankful - so on behalf of the NSPCC, many thanks once again to you all, for your very generous help.
Thanks to all those who turned up - it's hoped you had a good day - even if you didn't actually feature in any of the prizes!! If you did enjoy yourself, then you can already put an entry in your diary for next year - the same time and place on Thursday June 12th. 2003. It's already booked - so see you all, and hopefully a few more, then.
If you would like an event publicised here, please let either
of the following know:
If there is anyone out there who either does not have access to the Web, or doesn't know about the site, will you please pass this information on.
Yesterday In CAP (Sema) 10th June 2002
From the Chairmans's Statement - Report & Accounts 1978.
"In Britain sensible progress has been severely handicapped by the undue influence of those who build and rely upon special purpose or "customised" circuits. These are not only outside the main stream of hardware advance, they are also the main cause of faulty experience with and the wrong view of software. Directly as a result of this influence important British projects have been damaged, and some remain at risk, due to the adoption of non-standard processors and ill-equipped software teams. Nevertheless, there has recently been a significant shift in attitude by HM Government. The Department of Industry has launched a number of excellent schemes to assist both software and the direct usage of micros. Since English is aessentially the language of micro software there is a splendid chance for British service companies to play a major part in the build-up of micro capability throughout Europe. CAP-CPP has this aim and our lead in portable software owes much to the CCA, DoI, NCC and NRDC"
So there, Bill Gates, at least Ada had the vision long before you!
Also 1978 - Simon Carves Revisited by Wendy (nee Brown) Marshall.
About 18 months ago the editor of CAP News asked for recollections of the Simon Carves Project that was launched in 1978 and based at CAP Northern. Well, it may be a little late, but I have only just been made aware of the CAP News website, so I thought I would jot down the names and other details that I can remember and hope this will stimulate other ex project members to fill in the gaps.
First of all the names. Befitting a project where development was done on DEC PDP-11s using CORAL and MACRO-11, there were many ex-Redcar people, including:
(Anne-Marie Ashley was working "next door" at Jones Homes Ltd.)
while other names I remember are:
I joined the project in July 1978. I'd started out as Wendy Brown, trainee programmer, at CAP London in October 1975. In the meantime, I'd got married to Chris Marshall, who was on the same CAP graduate intake, and transferred to Northern. All my project experience up till then had been IBM COBOL programming on various Barclays Bank applications, so working on a middleware team at Simon Carves was a bit of a culture shock.
I spent about 7 months on the project, as part of Mel Earp's File Handling development team. The other team members were Brian Crabtree and Richard Crosby, two fresh-faced young men, who must now be about 45 (help!).
As far as I remember, there were 4 or 5 middleware teams, which varied in size from 1 (Trevor Daniels) to about 6. Application development was just getting under way when I left.
The project was based in Alderley Edge, about 1 km from CAP Northern's office. We occupied one wing of the headquarters of a company called Jones Homes. It was a 2 storey building: the project office was downstairs, together with the PDP-11s (roughly one per development team), while the coding and specification was done with pencil and paper in an open plan office upstairs.
Things I remember: hand-pumped Robinsons at the nearby Moss Rose (also known as the Drum and Monkey), which featured a dog called Alex evening pool sessions at a rather more salubrious Boddingtons pub (the Royal Oak?) near CAP Northern's office the project car park embellished by "the lawnmower" (Ian Bays' green 2CV) and "the sewing machine" (Dave Hall's blue 2CV) lots of laughs on the project office (staffed by Pam Agnew, Liz Hall and Stephanie Shute), while waiting to use the photocopier (ah, those pre-email days!) the project having a thriving squash ladder a project member taking up CAP's offer of a free flu vaccination, then dropping a £200 disk pack through having a sore arm.
Like the editor of CAP News, I don't know whether any CAP staff ever went over to Byelorus to implement the system, but I'd be very interested to find out.
Articles 10th June 2002
BILL GATES IN HEAVEN
Bill Gates passes away and goes up to heaven where he is met by God.
"Well, Bill," said God, "I'm really confused on this one. I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or Hell. After all, you enormously helped society by putting a computer in almost every home in the world, and yet you created that ghastly Windows".
"I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to let you decide where you want to go."
Bill replied, "Well thanks, God. What's the difference between the two?"
God said, "You take a peek at both places briefly if it will help you decide. Shall we look at Hell first?"
"Sure" said Bill, "Let's go!"
Bill was amazed! He saw a clean, white sandy beach with clear waters. There were thousands of beautiful men and women running around, playing in the water, laughing and frolicking about. The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect.
"This is great!" said Bill. "If this is Hell, I can't wait to see heaven."
God replied, "Let's go!" and so off they went to Heaven. Bill saw puffy white clouds in a beautiful blue sky with angels drifting about playing harps and singing.
It was nice, but surely not as enticing as Hell.
Bill Gates thought for only a brief moment and rendered his decision. "God, I do believe I would like to go to Hell."
"As you desire," said God.
Two weeks later, God decided to check up on the late billionaire to see how things were going. He found Bill Gates shackled to a wall, screaming amongst the hot flames in a dark cave. He was being burned and tortured by demons.
"How ya doin', Bill?" asked God.
Bill responded with anguish and despair, "This is awful! This is not what I expected at all! What happened to the beach and the beautiful women playing in the water?"
"Oh THAT?!" said God. "That was the Screen Saver."